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Winter Readiness

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many maintenance yards does the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) have to use for snow fighting?
A: NJDOT has 68 maintenance facilities statewide that house 76 snow fighting crews that are assigned multiple sections of responsibility statewide.

Q. What types of material does the NJDOT use to perform winter maintenance?

NJDOT uses sodium chloride or better known as rock salt as the solid anti-icing material that is sometimes wetted with either liquid calcium chloride solution or a salt brine to enhance the melting capability of the rock salt.

as a winter storm approaches, trucks are loaded with material at a maintenance facility photo
As a winter storm
approaches, trucks are
loaded with material at a maintenance facility.

Q. What is anti-icing?
A: Anti-icing is a proactive approach to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the road surface by using timely applications of a chemical freeze point suppressant.

Q. How many salt storage locations does NJDOT have?
A: NJDOT has 70 salt storage facilities statewide.

Q. How much salt capacity does NJDOT have?
A: NJDOT can store up to 164,003 tons.

Q. How much anti-icing liquid does NJDOT store?
A: NJDOT has statewide storage capacity for 716,402 gallons of liquid calcium chloride and 150,703 gallons of salt brine.

Q. Does NJDOT pre-treat the roads?
A: Yes. NJDOT does have 12 trucks that are strategically placed statewide that are equipped to apply salt brine to the road surface prior to the start of any winter precipitation. This application remains on the road surface up to several days depending on the amount of traffic.

Q. Does NJDOT use their winter maintenance trucks for every winter storm?
A: Yes. The NJDOT uses their spreaders to apply anti-icing material for lighter storms that may only produce up to two inches of snow. Storms that produce more snow, greater than two inches, are considered plowing events and the NJDOT would then utilize its plows.

Q. Does NJDOT use contractors to spread anti-icing material and plow snow?
A: Yes. NJDOT has trucks contracted to plow snow and also to spread anti-icing material.

Q. Does NJDOT use spreading contractors every time?
NJDOT utilizes contractors to help clear the roads during a winter storm photo
NJDOT utilizes contractors to help clear the roads during a winter storm.
A: Yes. There are areas in the state that NJDOT does not have enough resources which require utilizing spreading contractors for each winter storm.

Q. Does NJDOT use plowing contractors every time?
A: No. Plowing contractors are called out as needed in the areas that require snow plowing.

Q. How come I don't always see a truck taking care of the road during a winter storm?
A: During a spreading operation, the single truck covers many miles and cycles back in approximately two to three hours or less, depending on your location on the roadway, it may be two to three hours before you see a truck in that section.

Q. What should I do to find out more information before I travel?
A: NJDOT offers a free service, 511NJ, a phone and web service, which consolidates traffic and transportation information into a one-stop resource for commuters and motorists. 511NJ provides up-to-the-minute traffic conditions and it is available seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  July 23, 2014